About the Kodály approach

Children who learn in a Kodály inspired classroom develop confidence and resilience for learning and an ease and fluency for music that is the envy of many. A Kodály inspired classroom is joyful, challenging and fun, and accessible to all students, while providing extension for those who are already on their musical journey.


The Kodály approach has been shown to be incredibly effective at not only developing musical skills, but helping children with literacy, social development and general well being.


Many studies link music instruction and in particular the Kodály approach to improved learning in reading, and comprehension. Here is an example


The Kodály approach is used by the Conservatory High School in Sydney.


More About The Kodály Approach


Like language acquisition, musical skills and concepts are best learned through an 
aural/oral approach and immersion in sound. After this the student associates this sound to a symbol, whether that be notation or a concept.


A Kodály inspired classroom has:

  • Active music making in every class

  • A singing-based approach to learning musical concepts

  • The use of a function-based movable doh system

  • The use of a function-based rhythmic solfege

  • Development of partwork skills through group 
performance and individual “Sing and Play” tasks

  • Analysis of music according to the concepts of music (pitch, duration, 
structure, tone colour, texture, dynamics/expressive techniques)

  • Learning activities based around the question: 
 “You may know it, but can you show it?”

Young children learn through doing, playing and singing. Musical elements are experienced before being named and once learned are practised, and thoroughly understood before new elements are added, in a well researched pedagogical sequence, within a framework of folk songs and singing games.

When music is taught or learned using Kodály’s approach, skills vital to advanced music making such as “inner hearing”, rhythmic co-ordination and harmonic hearing are strongly developed at an early stage.

Tools of the Kodály approach include relative solfa, (moveable do, re mi etc.) the use of hand signs and rhythm names, These tools are most effective when used within a well planned logical sequence.

Teachers trained in the Kodály approach are challenged to continually improve their own musicianship and teaching practise, with long and short term planning that keeps learners at the centre.

More about the Kodály approach to musicianship by Lucinda Geoghegan (pdf)